Waterworks Museum

Waterworks Museum Architecture, Engineering, Public Health, Social History - it's all here at the Waterworks Museum!
The Waterworks Museum interprets unique stories of one of the country's first metropolitan water systems through exhibitions and educational programs on engineering, architecture, social history and public health.

Ever wonder where your water comes from? Before you say “from the tap,” think again. It had to get to the tap from somewhere. But where? And how? That’s where we come in. The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum is located in the Chestnut Hill High Pumping Station on the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The original station was built in 1887, and added on to in 1897. The three pumping engines housed within the museum operated every day until the late 1970s, when Boston's primary water supply became the Quabbin Reservoir. A unique intersection of architecture, engineering, public health, and social history, the Waterworks Museum is a hidden gem of the Boston museum community, interpreting the stories of one of the first metropolitan water systems in the United States.

As it begins to get warmer (any day now), take some time to enjoy the walking trail around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. ...
05/15/2019

As it begins to get warmer (any day now), take some time to enjoy the walking trail around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. If you’re up for a challenge, try our Nature Scavenger hunt while you’re at it! #Spring #Outdoors #Games #ChestnutHillReservoir #PlayMW #metrowaterworks #WhatDoestheSunLookLikeAgain

When visiting our museum, you may find yourself wandering into what many call the “round room.” Believe it or not, t...
05/14/2019

When visiting our museum, you may find yourself wandering into what many call the “round room.” Believe it or not, this ‘room’ was not intended to be a room at all, but rather a kind of collection chamber where water would enter the pumping station from one of three sources. The floor you see would not have existed and a large screen would be lowered in front of the intake pipe to prevent sizable debris from damaging the pumps as the water flowed through. #SecretsMW #metrowaterworks #MuseumWeek

We’re kicking off #MuseumWeek with a celebration of #WomenInCulture  And who better to highlight than Ellen Swallow Ri...
05/13/2019

We’re kicking off #MuseumWeek with a celebration of #WomenInCulture And who better to highlight than Ellen Swallow Richards!

Ellen was the first female student admitted to MIT as well as its first female instructor. In the 1880s, she embarked on a comprehensive series of water tests around Boston, which culminated in her famed “Normal Chlorine Map.” This effectively established the first water quality standards in America, as anything that deviated from these norms could indicate human caused pollution. #WaterWarrior #metrowaterworks

Happy Earth Day! Last week we celebrated the earth by exploring all the ways we use and protect its most valuable resour...
04/22/2019

Happy Earth Day! Last week we celebrated the earth by exploring all the ways we use and protect its most valuable resource - water! Thanks to everyone who came out to join us! #EarthDay #Water #MetroWaterworks

WOW! So many AMAZING machines to move water were created yesterday! Thanks to everyone who came out to take our engineer...
04/19/2019

WOW! So many AMAZING machines to move water were created yesterday! Thanks to everyone who came out to take our engineering challenge!

Don't forget to join us today to test the water in our stream and craft a model watershed from just a crumpled paper. Drop in any time 11am-4pm!

#EarthDay #Water #Engineering #Metrowaterworks

Looking a good way to kick off your Earth Day celebration next week? On Friday 4/19, we'll be looking at all kinds off d...
04/12/2019

Looking a good way to kick off your Earth Day celebration next week? On Friday 4/19, we'll be looking at all kinds off different ways to protect water quality!

Drop in any time between 11am and 4pm to borrow one of our water testing kits and check on the quality of a nearby stream. We'll also be making model watersheds and creating posters to raise awareness about the danger of polluted runoff. We hope to see you there! #EarthDay #WaterQuality #WaterPollution #MetroWaterworks

Next Thursday, 4/18, we'll be thinking about safe water access with a recycled goods Maker Space! Your challenge: build ...
04/11/2019

Next Thursday, 4/18, we'll be thinking about safe water access with a recycled goods Maker Space!

Your challenge: build something that can move water from one place to another.

Drop in any time between 11am and 4pm! #MakerSpace #Recycle #EarthDay #Metrowaterworks

1 week until we start Exploring Water in Our World over April Vacation Week! On Wednesday, 4/17 we'll be looking at ways...
04/10/2019

1 week until we start Exploring Water in Our World over April Vacation Week!

On Wednesday, 4/17 we'll be looking at ways to use water to appreciate nature through art! You can make a dyed paper flower or an Earth Day themed Water Color painting! Drop in any time between 11am and 4pm.
#EarthDay #Nature #Art #Water #MetroWaterworks

We had a great time hosting the German International School of Boston for a fun Field trip last week! The museum offers ...
03/28/2019

We had a great time hosting the German International School of Boston for a fun Field trip last week! The museum offers a wide variety of curriculum based programs for school and camp groups. Check out the "Education" page on our website to learn more! #FieldTrips #Fun #metrowaterworks https://waterworksmuseum.org/education/

Last week, the class 5/6 visited the Waterworks Museum. They were able to test how difficult life was without water pipes in Boston.

03/27/2019
Learning from the past and preparing for future water needs

Happy 8th Birthday to us! Last night, Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5 helped us celebrate by showcasing our latest temporary exhibit, Workers of Wachusett, on their show. Today, we're continuing the celebration with birthday cake and a few artifacts on display from museum's opening back in 2011. Stop by any time between 11am and 4pm today to join in the fun! #Chronicle #BirthdayCake #HappyBirthday #metrowaterworks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM3RFaSYZ30

Learning from the past and preparing for future water needs Subscribe to WCVB on YouTube now for more: http://bit.ly/1e8lAMZ Get more Boston news: http://www...

Catch us tonight, Tuesday 3/26, at 7:30pm on Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5! Then stop by tomorrow to celebrate the museum'...
03/26/2019

Catch us tonight, Tuesday 3/26, at 7:30pm on Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5! Then stop by tomorrow to celebrate the museum's 8th birthday - birthday cake will be available first-come first-serve starting at 11am. #Chronicle #BirthdayCake #metrowaterworks

Happy World Water Day! Today we reflect on the importance of earth’s most important resource and recommit to conservin...
03/22/2019

Happy World Water Day! Today we reflect on the importance of earth’s most important resource and recommit to conserving water whenever we can.

4 billion people - 2/3 of the world’s population- experience severe water scarcity at least 1 month out of the year. Sometimes, it’s easy to take the great access we have to safe water in a Boston for granted. That’s why today, we are hosting a blind taste test if 3 different bottled waters compared to good old tap water straight from the Quabbin. Can you tell which sample is the tap water? Is expensive bottled water really worth the price? Find out with us today!

Drop in anytime between 11am and 4pm!

#WorldWaterDay #TasteTest #Metrowaterworks

Next Friday, 3/22 is World Water Day! Did you know that 2.1 BILLION people around the world live without safe water acce...
03/15/2019

Next Friday, 3/22 is World Water Day! Did you know that 2.1 BILLION people around the world live without safe water access in their home?

Sometimes we can forget how lucky we are to have access to such great quality tap water right here in Boston. Stop by the museum between 11am and 4pm on 3/22 to take our Water Taste Test Challenge! We will be conducting a blind taste test between three bottled water companies with varied pricing and good old tap water straight from the Quabbin!

Will you be able to tell which is the tap water? Are those expensive bottled waters really worth the money? Find out with us on World Water Day! #WorldWaterDay #TasteTest #metrowaterworks

The Waterworks Museum will be CLOSED tomorrow, Saturday 3/2 due to the forecasted snowstorm. Stay safe, stay warm, and h...
03/01/2019

The Waterworks Museum will be CLOSED tomorrow, Saturday 3/2 due to the forecasted snowstorm. Stay safe, stay warm, and hopefully you get a chance to enjoy the snow.
#metrowaterworks #boston #snowday
https://waterworksmuseum.org/

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Winter Wonders activities last week over February Vacation! School may be back i...
02/25/2019

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Winter Wonders activities last week over February Vacation! School may be back in session now but we're already looking forward to Spring Break in April - More info to come! #WinterWonders #Metrowaterworks #staytuned

Today is Day 2 of our Winter Wonders activities! We will be making balloon-rocket-sleds and watching them zoom across th...
02/21/2019

Today is Day 2 of our Winter Wonders activities! We will be making balloon-rocket-sleds and watching them zoom across the museum! Drop in anytime from 11am-4pm to make yours! #turboboost #sleighride #balloonrockets #metrowaterworks

It's here! Today is the first day of our week long Winter Wonders activities! Today we're making geometric snowmen and S...
02/20/2019

It's here! Today is the first day of our week long Winter Wonders activities! Today we're making geometric snowmen and Snowman Life Cycle charts as well as exploring the differences between dry ice and regular ice. Stop in any time between 11am and 4pm. Ice demos at 12 and 2:30! #WinterWonders #Frozen #metrowaterworks #snowmenrule

Don't forget to join us next week for Winter Wonders at the Waterworks! On Wednesday, we'll be making Geometric Snowmen ...
02/12/2019

Don't forget to join us next week for Winter Wonders at the Waterworks! On Wednesday, we'll be making Geometric Snowmen and Snowman Life Cycle charts! We'll also take a closer look at the difference between dry ice and regular ice. With the impending storm, you can start your observations a bit early! #WinterWonders #Snowman #metrowaterworks

Public awareness regarding a local scammer pretending to be from the water department: "City officials say the only time...
02/06/2019
Man Pretends To Be From Water Dept, Newton Police Warn Of Scam

Public awareness regarding a local scammer pretending to be from the water department: "City officials say the only time an employee of water and sewer division will come to your door is in the event of an emergency, a previously scheduled appointment or from a loss of water from the metering system."

https://patch.com/massachusetts/newton/man-pretends-be-water-dept-newton-police-warn-scam

Police are on the look out for the man and are reminding residents not to ever let anyone into their home without knowing for who they are.

This past weekend, we celebrated the dedication of our devoted volunteers. While all our volunteers have provided us wit...
01/29/2019

This past weekend, we celebrated the dedication of our devoted volunteers. While all our volunteers have provided us with countless hours of assistance in crafting the best possible experience for our visitors, a few stood out for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty.

As we continue to grow and change, we are so honored and thankful to have the help of these knowledgeable and passionate people.

If you are interested in joining the ranks of our volunteers, stop by the museum during our regular hours and speak with Ethan, our Volunteer Coordinator, or send him an email by following the link below.

https://waterworksmuseum.org/support/volunteer-signup/

The Waterworks Museum will be CLOSED tomorrow, Sunday 1/20 due to the forecasted snowstorm, but we're open today for our...
01/19/2019

The Waterworks Museum will be CLOSED tomorrow, Sunday 1/20 due to the forecasted snowstorm, but we're open today for our normal hours 11am-4pm!
#metrowaterworks #boston #snowday
https://waterworksmuseum.org/

So many great spice drop structures were created today! From dinosaurs to a replica of Independence Hall, we had it all!...
12/28/2018

So many great spice drop structures were created today! From dinosaurs to a replica of Independence Hall, we had it all! Thanks to everyone who came out for Candy Engineering today!
#candy #engineering #happyholidays #metrowaterworks

Thanks to everyone who came out today to design their own candy cane maze- they were all amazing! Tomorrow, Friday 12/28...
12/28/2018

Thanks to everyone who came out today to design their own candy cane maze- they were all amazing!

Tomorrow, Friday 12/28, is day two of our candy engineering activities! We will be building all kinds of shapes and structures using spice drops and toothpicks. Drop in any time from 11am- 4pm! #engineering #candy #happyholidays #metrowaterworks

Don't forget to join us tomorrow, Thursday 12/27, anytime between 11am and 4pm to design your own candy cane maze! We're...
12/26/2018

Don't forget to join us tomorrow, Thursday 12/27, anytime between 11am and 4pm to design your own candy cane maze! We're excited to see all of your ideas come to life! #CandyCanes #Engineering #DesignChallenge #HappyHolidays #metrowaterworks

In the early 1900s, you might have received one of these toy model steam engines for the holidays! These functional  toy...
12/23/2018

In the early 1900s, you might have received one of these toy model steam engines for the holidays! These functional toys were designed to teach kids about the latest technology of the day.

#HappyHolidays #toys #presents #metrowaterworks

Desmond FitzGerald (portrayed on left) was the first supervising engineer of our Chestnut Hill High Service Pumping Stat...
12/09/2018

Desmond FitzGerald (portrayed on left) was the first supervising engineer of our Chestnut Hill High Service Pumping Station in the late 19th century. Today we were excited to give a tour to his great-grandson, Desmond FitzGerald, and family! #metrowaterworks

On this day in 1894, the Leavitt engine first began pumping water out to the city of Boston. While its unique design gar...
12/02/2018

On this day in 1894, the Leavitt engine first began pumping water out to the city of Boston. While its unique design garnered it the title of National Historic Engineering Landmark, it also provided unique maintenance challenges which resulted in the engine being taken offline in 1928. During it's 33 year run, the Leavitt pumped out an average of 20 million gallons per day to the city. #metrowaterworks

Happy World Toilet Day! We don't often take the time to think about how lucky we are to have a public  waterworks system...
11/19/2018

Happy World Toilet Day! We don't often take the time to think about how lucky we are to have a public waterworks system that not only brings us safe water to drink and use, but also removes and treats the wastewater we produce every day. We are #thankful to those working on making safe water and sanitary toilet access a reality for the billions in the world who currently go without. #WorldToiletDay #SafeWater #Metrowaterworks

We recently had some unique visitors to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir: we get a wide variety of waterfowl but this was the...
11/09/2018

We recently had some unique visitors to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir: we get a wide variety of waterfowl but this was the first time any of our staff had seen swans! Have you ever seen swans on the reservoir? #metrowaterworks #Swans

11/07/2018
The sounds of sewage

What do you think the sound of sewage would be? And do you think you’d be able to make music from it? This 2011 Boston Globe piece features members of the New England Phonographers Union talking about their MWRA project at the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant. They recorded the sounds of Deer Island and put them together to create a unique concert.

(Boston Globe) The New England Phonographers Union find music in the most unlikely place: Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant. By Scott LaPierre

We hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween last night - thank you to everyone who celebrated with us at our Tricks ...
11/01/2018

We hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween last night - thank you to everyone who celebrated with us at our Tricks and Treats event on Saturday! #SpookyScience #Halloween #metrowaterworks

10/31/2018

We are overjoyed to announce the receipt of a $10000 grant from the Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation in support of our educational efforts

ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS until Tricks and Treats at the Waterworks: A Spooky Science Carnival! Join us this Saturday from 11a...
10/23/2018

ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS until Tricks and Treats at the Waterworks: A Spooky Science Carnival!

Join us this Saturday from 11am - 3pm. Check out the full program of activities here - and start getting psyched for the treat trail!

#Metrowaterworks #SpookyScience #Halloween #TrickorTreat

Less than TWO WEEKS until our Tricks and Treats event on 10/27! This week, our staff is working on some of the demonstra...
10/16/2018

Less than TWO WEEKS until our Tricks and Treats event on 10/27! This week, our staff is working on some of the demonstrations for the 15 minute "Science of Magic" show that will run three times throughout the event. Can you guess what our Educator used to create this spooky smog and these smoky bubbles during her dry run (hint hint)?

#metrowaterworks
#SpookyScience
#TrickorTreat
#Halloween

With only 18 days until our Tricks and Treats event, staff is working hard to test all of our spooky science activities,...
10/09/2018

With only 18 days until our Tricks and Treats event, staff is working hard to test all of our spooky science activities, like make and take slime, and carnival games, like our Attack the Evil Robot challenge. You won't want to miss it! #SpookyScience #TrickorTreat #metrowaterworks #Halloween

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a fascinating discussion of "The Great Workshop: Boston's Victorian Age" with au...
10/03/2018

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a fascinating discussion of "The Great Workshop: Boston's Victorian Age" with author Chaim Rosenberg!

The book club meets the first Wednesday of every month so don't forget to join us for our next session on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018. All are welcome!

#metrowaterworks #bookclub

09/26/2018
Phillipsburg Waterworks Triple Restoration

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to see our Allis Engine in action, take a look at the amazing work the folks at the Phillipsburg Waterworks have done restoring their triple expansion engine! #metrowaterworks #engineering #history #twinsies

Where there is a will, there is a way. There is a grand waterworks engine running in America, if only for today. Spread this to the corners of the globe.

Some interesting facts to share with you today: 1) the two several-ton inscribed plaques in front of our museum come fro...
09/16/2018

Some interesting facts to share with you today: 1) the two several-ton inscribed plaques in front of our museum come from the side of the Beacon Hill Reservoir, which was constructed in 1849 and torn down in 1883 when the State House was expanded; 2) who knew that geese could read?

Taking your dog for a morning walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir is never a mundane task; often it's a beautiful gi...
09/14/2018

Taking your dog for a morning walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir is never a mundane task; often it's a beautiful gift!

Desmond Fitzgerald was the first supervisor of the Boston Waterworks High Service pumping station, and where our museum ...
09/01/2018

Desmond Fitzgerald was the first supervisor of the Boston Waterworks High Service pumping station, and where our museum is now located. He was also an early collector of impressionist paintings and a personal friend of French artist Claude Monet. Between 1899 and 1903, Monet painted a series of the British Parliament building on the Thames River, one of which, Soleil Couchant ("that evening sun"), reminds us of the setting sun over the Chestnut Hill Reservoir this past Friday night.

Two cormorants at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir squabbling over a prime fishing spot atop the 1870 Effluent Gatehouse No. ...
08/30/2018

Two cormorants at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir squabbling over a prime fishing spot atop the 1870 Effluent Gatehouse No. 1. (The CHR supplied water to Boston, and was fed by both the Cochituate and Sudbury reservoirs about 15 and 17 miles away, respectively.) At the Waterworks Museum, not only do we have plenty of room to accommodate everyone, but squabbles are rare because our amazing giant water pumps usually leave most people speechless.

08/30/2018
In The Know Conservation

Here at the museum, we often say the water pipes that were part of the Sudbury aqueduct were big enough to stand inside, but this is taking it to a whole new level! Would you want to live in one of these fully furnished water pipes? #waterworks #microhousing

These micro-houses are made out of concrete water pipes 🏘️

08/26/2018
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch - You Gotta Believe

Before he became a big-time Hollywood actor, Mark Wahlberg was the lead rap singer of the Boston-based group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. The group produced two albums, the second of which, 1992's "You Gotta Believe," peaked at #66 in the Billboard 200. The reason why this relates to our museum is that the video for the single "You Gotta Believe" was filmed in our Great Engines Hall. While we allow a lot of latitude to our volunteer docents when crafting their own narratives, unlike Marky Mark in this video, we would not allow anyone to lead their tours shirtless. :)

The first video from Mark's 2nd LP released in 1992. If anyone has the "Gonna Have A Good Time" video, please feel free to upload it! lol You Gotta Believe! ...

Address

2450 Beacon St
Boston, MA
02467

General information

Museum Spring Hours: Wed: 11am-8:30pm Thur-Sun: 11am-4pm

Opening Hours

Wednesday 11:00 - 16:00
Thursday 11:00 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00
Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(617) 277-0065

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